Perhaps the only thing a hugely-limbed 6-3, 319-pound man with a Chevy van-thick torso would run from is a bad reputation.
Dolphins right guard Richie Incognito couldn’t wait to talk about his recently burnished reputation as a dirty player, inviting the media over as soon as the locker room opened Friday.
A Sporting News poll of 103 NFL players released Thursday ranked Incognito No. 2 among the NFL’s dirty players, his 19 votes putting him solidly ahead of St. Louis cornerback Cortland Finnegan (14), but almost a lap behind Detroit defensive tackle Ndomuhkong Suh (32).
“I think I was at No. 6 last year,” Incognito said with a grin. “No personal fouls, no major penalties, no fines or anything like that and I move back up to No. 2. It’s a badge of honor for an offensive lineman to be up that high. It definitely plays on a defender’s mind. It’s always on his mind that ‘Hey, this guy is going to get after you for four quarters.’ ”
Incognito earned his reputation mostly in St. Louis, where he had at least four games with at least two personal fouls and was released in 2009 after a game in which he headbutted two Tennessee players.
This season, Houston defensive end Antonio Smith got fined $21,000 for kicking Incognito in the season opener.
Smith protested he was trying to get his ankle free from Incognito twisting it.
The NFL didn’t fine Incognito, who made his case to South Florida media by pulling out his iPad to show reporters the play.
The Sporting News quoted an NFC defensive player claiming he had seen Incognito roll up a defensive lineman’s ankle as the player gets up off of him.
Only tight end Jeron Mastrud (hamstring) and utility defensive lineman Tony McDaniel (knee) were listed as worse than Probable on the Dolphins Friday injury report.
Both were at Questionable.
Tennessee linebacker Xavier Adibi (knee) and safety Al Afalava (ankle) are out for Sunday.
Linebackers Patrick Bailey (ribs), Colin McCarthy (ankle), Will Witherspoon (hamstring), cornerback Tommie Campbell (ankle) and offensive tackle Byron Stingily (back) all got placed under questionable.
Cornerback Sean Smith spoke to the South Florida media for the first time since the entire Dolphins defense got strafed by Indianapolis rookie Andrew Luck with several big plays featuring Smith as goat.
“Especially in the secondary, we played so well and we have one off day and everybody kind of writes us off,” he said. “We’re definitely looking forward to putting on a great showing and getting things going back in the right direction.”
Asked how he handles such games differently now, in his fourth season, than early in his career, Smith chuckled and said, “When I was younger, I kind of listened to the media more than I do now. It doesn’t bother me. It was definitely a tough loss for us.”